Sexy, wisecracking nightclub singer Sugarpuss OShea is a hot tomato who needs to be kept on ice mobster boyfriend Joe Lilac is suspected of murder and Sugarpuss testimony could put him away. Naive Professor Bertram Potts meets Miss OShea while researching an article on slang and in true romantic comedy fashion the two worlds collide. When Miss OShea hides out with Potts and his fellow professors, everyone learns something new the professors how to cha-cha and Potts the meaning of yum-yum!
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There is really nothing wrong with this film, from the directing to theacting, to the script. Spoilers Ahead: What makes this film work is theobvious chemistry between Stanwyck and Cooper, particularly in thescene in the bungalow where Potts (Cooper) confronts Sugarpuss(Stanwyck) with the truth that she essentially played him and the otherprofessors for fools, and you see her face in the darkened roomreferring to herself as a tramp. If anyone has ever watched Stanwyckyou know she is the kind of woman to quote Miss Bragg (Kathleen Howard)in this film "That causes the destruction of empires.", and forStanwyck to give even an inch is unusual. Equally unusual is Cooper toend up with the kind of woman that is not ideal. In fact, of his films(That did not co-star Stanwyck They appeared 3 times together ) I canonly think of 3 other times this happened. 1: "Desire" (MarleneDietrich) 2: Vera Cruz (Sara Montiel), and 3: Along Came Jones (LorettaYoung (A film very much like "Ball of Fire" with Young (Even more thanCooper) really cast against type). What really makes this film is thesupporting cast, which is unusually strong: Allen Jenkins, Dan Duryea,Dana Andrews, Oskar Homolka, and Henry Travers. A special note goes toGene Krupa who played "Drum Boogie" on a matchbook (He actually did itfor fun, and it was later added to the film). If someone is a Cooper,and (or) a Stanwyck fan it should be a must see. If someone isunfamiliar with Stanwyck, and wants to see why she was great, this isan excellent place to start.
Barbara Stanwyck plays a wise-cracking entertainer who moves in with 8professorial types in "Ball of Fire," a marvelous Billy Wilder film,directed by Howard Hawks, that is loosely based on Snow White and the 7Dwarfs! Only Wilder could come up with an idea like this and make itshine.And shine it does. Stanwyck is perfect as Sugarpuss O'Shea, whoseboyfriend is a mobster sought after by the police. After a visit byCooper, whose assignment is slang for the encyclopedia he and theothers have been writing for only nine years, she drops in on him lateat night, intending to hide out there so the police can't subpoena hertestimony. Cooper falls for her while the other, older men developpaternalistic feelings for her.Stanwyck is gorgeous and gets to show off that fabulous body and greatlegs as well as her flair for comedy. She's in stark contrast to Cooperas a man who's been in his ivory tower too long. Cooper was one of thehandsomest movie stars ever. Tall and gangly, slow-talking, with aboyish smile that lights up his face, it's no wonder the heiressfunding the encyclopedia is crazy about him and that Stanwyck findsherself drifting into love with him.Dana Andrews has a good role as the mobster boyfriend, and one of hissidekicks is the always snarky Dan Duryea. The professors are allterrific. Highly entertaining fare from Billy Wilder, and the last filmhe ever wrote but didn't direct.
I'm not usually the type to sit and watch old movies, but my mother is (we watched it together), it was just amazing. The acting along with most of the older moves was wonderful. And was not overly predictable like most of the movies that are out now.
This review is from: Ball of Fire (DVD) This is one of Hollywood's Classics..!! Stars Gary Cooper as Prof. Bertram Potts and Barbara Stanwyck as "Sugarpuss" O'Shea. The plot revolves around a group of professors who are trying to write an encyclopedia. Stanwyck is in trouble with "the Mob" and takes refuge with the professors. She and Cooper fall in love and the professors save the day and arrest the mob. Great fun and an all star cast. Nominated for 4 Academy Awards this is a Hollywood at it's very best.
BALL OF FIRE is one of the classic screwball farces. With a wonderful script from Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett, smart, spot-on direction from Howard Hawks, great B&W cinematography from Gregg Toland, elegant set design from William Cameron Menzies (wait'll you see the wonderful Manhattan town house!) BALL OF FIRE turns Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on its head. Here, the seven dwarfs -- led by a terrific Gary Cooper -- are taught the ways of the world by Snow White -- an equally terrific Barbara Stanwyck. This is sheer, unadulterated fun, from beginning to end. Has any actor in the history of film had a year like Cooper had in 1941? Besides BALL OF FIRE, he also starred in two other critical and box office smashes -- Capra's very disturbing MEET JOHN DOE, and a second Hawks film, SERGEANT YORK, for which Cooper won his first Academy Award. Not bad for an actor whom some have claimed was wooden and only played himself! Buy this, most definitely.
This review is from: Ball of Fire (DVD) I'm a collector of DVDs from Criterion to mediocre "original" Studio Productions (WB e.g.). This Taiwan-Copy of "Balls of Fire" is first rate quality, picture and sound and anything you can wish for in a remastered DVD. If you want THIS movie, get it at it's low price. If you are a snob or real freak, get it at its "English Original" price. If you don't know what I'm talking about, get something else. Well, I prefer the remake with Danny Kaye to this first Howard Hawks-movie, but then I prefer American Jazz to dated American slang. Gary Cooper against Danny Kaye? impossible to chose. "Ball of Fire" has more bite, "A Song is Born" too much schmalz, but then there is the music and Danny Kaye. I have both of them, on DVD and VHS. Best of two worlds.
Snow White elated fable with an early 1940s touch. This modern day SnowWhite is riddled with lingo commonly spoken by people in early 1940sAmerica. Instead of being a pure and innocent woman as in the originalversion, this Snow White is a nightclub singer with dubious associations toa known gangster. Also, the character played by Gary Cooper is both PrinceCharming and head dwarf rolled into one.Feels more like a Billy Wilder film than a Howard Hawks feature. This isbecause of certain characteristics throughout the story like its zanninesswhich is a fixture of Billy Wilder's comedies. Also includes a satiricelement so importantly featured in most of Billy Wilder's directorial work. Skillfully written by Billy Wilder, a filmmaker with a knack for creatinghumorous situations out of everyday life.Ball of Fire(1941) is the major blue print for Billy Wilder's late 1950scomedy masterpiece, Some Like It Hot(1959). It deals with someone who hasto blend with a crowd she doesn't usually hang out with to avoid troublewhich was the basic premise for Some Like It Hot(1959). The plot for Ballof Fire(1941) where Sugarpuss O'Shea finds sanctuary in a male filled worldis the perfect opposite of Some Like It Hot(1959) where the two malecharacters blend in a female dominated band. Sugurpuss O'Shea and the twomale characters of Some Like It Hot(1959) are involved in nightclub workthough in different jobs.Barbara Stanwyck is awe striking gorgeous for the part of Sugarpuss O'Shea. She belongs in a long line of beautiful and talented actressess who dazzlesthe big screen with presence in Howard Hawks films. Barbara Stanwyck inthis film is a sensuous kitten and tough thinking woman. A warmup forStanwyck's most sensual performance on film in Double Indemnity(1944).No Howard Hawks motion picture(with few exceptions) goes through a storywithout including some kind of romantic chemistry and romantic conflict. Professor Potts and Sugarpuss O'Shea are opposites personality wise yetconnect because of Potts naive but joyful look at life. What winsSugarpuss's heart is Professor Potts clumsy and gentle nature which is quitea contrast to her gangster boyfriend. The romantic chemistry of the twolacks the hard-boiled edge of the Bogart-Bacall films by Howard Hawks whichis a refreshing change here.The classic screwball comedy that was extremely popular during the decadesof the 1930s and 1940s. Ball of Fire(1941) is part of Howard Hawksscrewball comedy period when he contributed to the sub genre with comicaland witty portrayals of everyday life. Matches the rapid fire dialogue ofHis Girl Friday(1941) with the sultriness of The Big Sleep(1946). Ball ofFire(1941) puts smiles on faces with priceless moments oflaughter.Sugarpuss O'Shea is a typically strong Hawks female character who overwheimsthe film's hero with her flamboyant manners. The name Sugarpuss suggestssomething that is alluring and sweet. The inspiration for the person ofSugarpuss O'Shea was Mistress of Bugsy Siegal, Virginia "Sugar" Hill. Sugarpuss O'Shea bar none is the most alluring female character in a HowardHawks movie.Well rounded performances are turned out by the majority of the cast. Theactors who play Professor Potts associates excell in their eccentricperformances. Nice for a change to see Gary Cooper play a person who isawkward, intellegent, and romantic. Dan Duryea adds a touch of dry comicrelief as a gangster thug.Amusing to see six grown men behave in manners akin to an adolescent theminute Sugarpuss O'Shea walks into their lives. The scenes where ProfessorPotts goes on the street to learn of some street slang to add to his andassociates encyclopedia is a masterstroke in editing. The moment near theend where Potts tells the gangster boyfriend of Sugarpuss to "Put up yourdukes" is a hirilous moment in the film. His Girl Friday(1940) is still thebest screwball comedy Howard Hawks ever did but Ball of Fire(1941) is aclose second.Ball of Fire(1941) comprises of some fine cinematography by Gregg Tolandwhose creative eye lended a hand to the monumental camera work of CitizenKane released during the same year. Early in the nightclub scene is anuncredited cameo by Elisha Cook Jr. Most of the time an excellent film ismarked by excellent direction and Ball of Fire(1941) is no exception. Lighthearted and sentlementle romantic comedy that belongs to an era whenfilms were done a certain way.
This review is from: Ball of Fire - Gary Cooper & Barbara Stanwyck (NTSC All Regions) (DVD) As a classic movie fan; I just had to have this movie! It is funny and Cooper and Stanwyck are AMAZING as always! Lots of fun to watch; the supporting case of 'professors' are great too! Dana Andrews as a bad guy is a different thing; love him; seems funny to see him in a bad dude role! Highly recommend! Even if you just want to LOOK at Stanwyck in her incredible costume or LOOK at Gary Cooper! Fantastic!
Let me start differently from the reviews I read. A highlight for thisswingster was the "Drumboogie" number giving showman-drummer deluxe,Gene Krupa, the opportunity to display his talent and personality. Myquestion is, did Stanwyck really do the singing? The temperamental, butsuper-talented Anita O'Day sang it on the GK recording. To the movie'scredit they didn't pan back and forth to table talk. And Roy Eldridgegot the chance to display those high notes.The movie, itself, was a thorough delight that offered laughs galorethanks to the script, the Hawks direction, Gary Cooper and Stanwyck andsome of the best-known character actors of the era including ole S. Z.'Cuddles' Sakall, although that moniker was not in use then. Heactually had less to do than Oscar Homolka and some of the others. Mostinteresting was Richard Haydn utilizing the funny routine for which hewas famous then, in far less usage in later years in "The Sound ofMusic."A favorite scene was the walk through Central Park by the intellectualfolks who were doing research for their encyclopedia. (Today's kid:"ma, what's an encyclopedia?"} Second fave scene were the profs whowere learning the cha-cha, part of their research on American slang.How did that 'slang' stuff go over in Britain?The package as a whole was a gem, and the coupling of Cooper andStanwyk, who also coupled in "Meet Jn. Doe" was perfect. His 'awshucks' personality, certainly different from such movies as "HighNoon" was as convincing as her brash approach to life. Oh, she wasperfect. Convincing? She actually did sock that lady in the jaw - nopunch pulled. Accidental, of course.If you've yet to see this wonderful movie, get ready to check it outand expose your funny bone. (That sounds nasty, but it isn't).
Director Howard Hawks' ingenious take on the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves has screen legends Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck taking on gangsters, grammar, and some of the greatest lines ever filmed. A classic screwball comedy!
Ball of Fire is a real 'screwball' comedy, and it being directed byHoward Hawks, who made arguably the best one of all (His Girl Friday),ups the stakes just a bit. Not only that, but it was one of BillyWilder's first projects on a screenplay, and his sharp wit comesthrough in almost every scene that needs it. And more than that, whenthe movie needs to be romantic, without any frills, it really is. Atthe center of the craziness that becomes the story (mostly towards theend and early on and a little in the middle) is a story that we know isformulaic- that a woman who is already attached (if not quite yethitched) to someone else falls into an unlikely situation with anotherman and the two suddenly become really close, the man first and thenthe woman- but its the chemistry between a sexy pre-Double IndemnityBarbara Stanwyck with conservative Gary Cooper.If, ultimately, it doesn't have the machine-gun energy of His GirlFriday (then again, few movies do), it makes up for it with a funpremise that Hawks and Wilder ride out logically, as far as comedypremises can go. It's about seven professors and their leaderprofessor, played by Cooper, who for years have been writing anencyclopedia and are coming close to the end... except for a snag -slang words. The old guys and intellectuals haven't a clue as to whatwords like "Boogie" and "sugar-puss" mean, until they get a few peopleoff the street to tell them. That, and a nightclub singer (Stanwyck) onthe run from the cops after she gets unwittingly (and unfairly) mixedup in a murder plot with her fiancÃ©e. So, she shacks up with Cooper andhis fellow profs, and it becomes Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs withthe twist that the girl this time is a lot more wily (and tempting)while the men are... old professor types who know almost everythingexcept the human heart.But Hawks makes twist on his own premise as he goes along, too. We seethe natural progression of the plot, of Cooper quickly falling in lovewith Stanwyck's advances (all fake at first just so she can stay at thehouse), and then little by little she falls for him too, or at leastfeels so guilty about what she's doing to see the old geezers as realpeople instead of obstacles. There are a few key scenes that break themold of the comedic antics (some of which, like Stanwyck showing theold men how to dance is hilarious and memorable): one is the bachelordinner between the professors, when the one professor, played byRichard Haydn, talks about his marriage from many years before, and itbecomes genuinely tender and sincere, not played for laughs, certainlynot when they're all singing the song Gienevive. The other scene iswhen Cooper walks into the wrong room (thinking it's a professor andnot his future wife) and asks for advice about what to do, as he lovesher and isn't sure about himself. It's all shot in dark, with a fewspecific lighting touches, and it's about perfect.The ensemble is entertaining- from the old men with their various(sometimes interchangeable) personalities, to the film-noir knockoffsplaying the henchmen of Joe Lilac- and there are many lines and momentsthat, upon a repeat viewing, should become even quotable. It could besaid that it's slightly dated in some of its approach to tradition vs.the titillating, but it never loses its sense of humor, all the way upto the climax. Oh, and it also happens to feature one of the bestnightclub music scenes in the movies, with Gene Krupa and his banddoing "Drum Boogie", first in its usual form (a fantastic drum solo atthe end), and then a variation on it with Krupa performing the song ina huddle of people with matchsticks on a matchbox. A small masterpieceof music in the middle of very good romantic comedy.
This review is from: Ball of Fire - Gary Cooper & Barbara Stanwyck (NTSC All Regions) (DVD) THE MGM COPY IS OUT OF PRINT, SO YOU'LL HAVE TO SETTLE FOR THIS ONE. PRODUCT IS GOOD THOUGH! PRICE WAS NOT BAD EITHER. PRODUCT CAME IN MINT CONDITION.
"Ball of Fire" is known as the last great pre-war comedy, and with goodreason. It all begins when a group of egghead professors are writing anencyclopedia. Then, grammarian Bertram Potts (Gary Cooper) realizesthat he doesn't know any modern slang. Frequenting the nightclubs, hemeets dancer Katherine "Sugarpuss" O'Shea (Barbara Stanwyck), who has aconnection to the mob. This leads all the characters on the mostunexpected adventure.I really liked the way that every one of the nerdy professors istempted to correct every mistake made by the others. But the gagsthroughout the movie are really something. Hilarious.
Howard Hawks and Billy Wilder were so similar--both had a cynical senseof humor, both directors could master any genre, both occasionallyworked with the same actors (including Bogart, Monroe, Stanwyck andCooper). This is the two masters' only joint collaboration (Wilderwrote, Hawks directed), and though Wilder complained about his scriptbeing misinterpreted (as he usually did before breaking out as adirector of his own scripts), the result is one of the mostdelightfully entertaining comedies ever made.Bertram Potts (Gary Cooper) and 7 other professors are working on thedefinitive encyclopedia that will most definitely give substantialspace to the man who invented the electric toaster. Just when theybelieve they are on the home stretch, Potts realizes he knows little tonoting about modern slang and sets out on a research expedition, wherehe runs into Sugarpuss O'Shea, a captivating burlesque dancer. WhenSugarpuss's gangster boyfriend Joe Lilac (Dana Andrews) gets into a jamSugarpuss must hide out to avoid a subpoena and finds refuge at theprofessors' house, where worlds collide to hilarious results. If it's possible, this film is both childish and mature at the sametime; it's based on a fairy tale and the professors' acting isanimated, yet Wilder's script is wild with double entendres andinnuendos. It's a brilliant combination that blends swimmingly.Likewise only Charlie Chaplin's CITY LIGHTS could more perfectly blendslapstick with sentiment. Humor from either Hawks or Wilder isn't theleast bit surprising, but the moments of genuine tenderness betweenSugarpuss and Potts is unexpected from the two directors who were knownfor their cynicism. Even more surprising is to find genuine suspense insome moments, such as a perfectly edited sequence in which theprofessors are taken hostage and must use their knowledge to get out(to go any further would be spoiling the scene). And I'll throw onelast shock your way: while most comedies aren't usually raved for theirphotography, there's pretty amazing cinematography by Gregg Toland, whofamously revolutionized deep focus with CITIZEN KANE. Using deep-focusand a noir-like sentimentality with shadows and light, there aremoments that are disarmingly sensational.Gary Cooper had worked with Howard Hawks just earlier with SERGEANTYORK. Cooper won Best Actor and Hawks received his only Oscarnomination in his long and brilliant career, but the film's fared badlyover the decades and both should've received their accolades for thisfilm. Cooper has more of a challenge in this film, and like CaryGrant's similar role in Hawks' BRINGING UP BABY, it could've been soeasy for him to break character, but Cooper keeps a straight face evenwhen it looks like he's having a blast. He's also very convincing as asocially awkward scholar who's constantly correcting other people'sgrammar. Before I saw Barbara Stanwyck in this film I found itincredible that the Oscar nomination she received in 1941 *wasn't* forher wickedly sexy turn as a con artist in Preston Sturges's comedicmasterpiece THE LADY EVE, but when I saw this I understood. Both rolesare similar, about a conniving woman who uses a dim-witted intellectand then falls in love to comedic results. I think she's a bit sharperin Sturges's film but her character is more likable in this film,because it's obvious that she becomes a better person when transformedby love. In fact, BALL OF FIRE is possibly the sweetest paean offalling for a nerd ("He looks like a giraffe-- and I love him!"), andboth characters truly evolve with love for each other--Potts isrejuvenated by Sugarpuss's pizazz, and her hardened crust (Stanwyckherself was a born New Yorker with a rough childhood, which only addsto her perfect interpretation of Sugarpuss) is melted by Pott's brain,heart and eventual courage. In other words, this is Yum-Yum stuff.
A very funny film. And not a surprise when you consider its a BillyWilder screenplay directed by Howard Hawkes and produced by SamGoldwyn. Now that's a winning combination.First of all, Barbara Stanwyck has about the greatest set of legs toever appear in Hollywood. She is the walking embodiment of the term"sex kitten". Add Gary Cooper as a hopelessly naive professor and sixlonely older men and you've got the formula for some highlyentertaining comedy.Cast great character actors as the professors and throw in Dana Andrewsand Dan Duryea and you've got a doz.Best screwball scene? Riding to the rescue in a garbage truck with theold guys in evening wear hanging on the sides like fireman and ticklingDuryea inside the truck to make him talk.A wonderful romp of a movie.
A gangster's moll (Barbara Stanwyck) gets involved with eight stodgy professors who are writing an encyclopedia, and plenty of funny complications ensue. The professors are seven old guys and Gary Cooper. (Guess which one winds up with Barbara.) Seven of Hollywood's finest old character actors turn in excellent performances as the others. One of the best Forties screwball comedies. Not to be missed!
This review is from: Ball of Fire (DVD) "Ball Of Fire" is one my favorite screwball romantic comedies. It was made towards the end of a golden era of this genre of films, which also includes such better-known classics as "The Philadelphia Story" (1940), "His Girl Friday" (1940) and "Bringing Up Baby" (1938). Directed by Howard Hawks, the master of rapid-fire comedic dialogue, it tells the story of nerdy language scholar Bertram Potts (Gary Cooper, in one of his best "aw-shucks" performances, along with "Mr. Deeds Goes To Town") who lives in a house with seven other stodgy, albeit older bachelor scholars, all of whom are working on an encyclopedia. Upon discovering that his knowledge of slang is outdated, Potts bravely ventures forth into the real world, where he discovers flashy (literally, as the dress she is first seen in is sequined and purposely lit so as to momentarily "blind" Potts when she shows up at his house in it) nightclub singer Katherine "Sugar Puss" O'Shea (Barbara Stanwyck). He is taken in by O'Shea's gusty performance of "Drum Boogie", (accompanied by a famous drummer of the times, Gene Krupa, who reminds me onstage a bit of "The Who" drummer Keith Moon), and her lively banter, and asks her to help him with his slang research. She takes him up on his invitation very abruptly by showing up at his home that same night, claiming to be arriving to help, when in fact she's trying to hide. The resulting storyline is predictable, fast-paced, extremely well-written, thoroughly dated, and filled with 1940's slang...in other words, to anyone who is a fan of this genre...completely captivating and charming. With this in mind, and taken as a movie of the times, it's a comedic gem. Gary Cooper (my all-time personal favorite actor) is absolutely sexy here, believe it or not, and Barbara Stanwyck is perfect as the title's sassy little "Ball Of Fire", with her brash, streetwise exterior but ultimately soft heart, climbing onto a stack of books to reach the 6'4" Potts so she can show him the meaning of "yum-yum". Also, the above-mentioned dress she first wears, which is featured in most of the ads for the film is amazing; it's something Bob Mackie might have designed for Cher, and she looks gorgeous in it. The outstanding supporting parts are interesting, clever, and except for the gangster parts, individually well-fleshed. Veteran character actors such as Oskar Homolka (the servant in "Mr. Sardonicus") and Henry Travers (the angel in "It's Wonderful Life") help lend charm to the story. Dana Andrews ("Laura") and Dan Duryea ("The Little Foxes"), are effective, if somewhat wasted, in small parts as typical sterotypical 1940's mobsters.You'd have to enjoy these kind of old screwball, dated comedies of the '40's to love this one...and I do. Side note: the roles of the seven professors (excluding Cooper's) were inspired by Disney's dwarfs from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".
This such a good movie!! I am a child who enjoys watching old films, and this MUST be on my top 20 list!! (probably 14 or so)...It resembles Snow White and the Seven - no, eight - dwarves, and is hilarious!! I should warn you, though, several people would say that they didn't "get" it, or it was too "corny"(inside joke from the movie). My family loves it, but it may be best for people who REALLY appreciate old movies(like me!!)
Slang is part of the American life; it is everywhere. That is whyprofessor Potts, an English grammar scholar, who with a team of men areworking on bringing up to date an encyclopedia, has a plan to updatethe English section where he is an expert, by including those slangphrases, idioms and words that are popping up all over the country withordinary people. One day, listening to the milk man talking, gives him an idea toincorporate the kind of popular expression that is not easily found innormal circles, because he is just perplexed hearing this guy using alanguage of his own. That is why he decides to visit different venueswhere he tunes in his ear to what is being said. He has the misfortuneof going to a night club where Sugarpuss O'Shea is the headliner. Notonly does she speak what appears to him like a strange gibberish, sheis one hell of an attractive dish.Little does Potts know that Ms. O'Shea has been hanging out withunsavory characters, one of whom, Joe Lilac, is Sugarpuss' main man.When the police turns up at the joint she is performing, she remembersthe offer Potts made as far as helping him with his project. When sheshows unexpectedly at the town house where all seven men are working,all hell breaks lose. The older scholars are awakened of their routine,it gives them a much welcome distraction from their boring existence."Ball of Fire", directed by Howard Hawks, is one of those comedies onecan see again and again because of the fun it gives its viewers. Theteam behind Mr. Hawks was an impressive one. Written with great styleby Charles Bracken and Billy Wilder, it was one of the best pictures of1941, one of the best years for the American cinema. This film has beencompared with the Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", and cometo think about it, it might have been an inspiration for another filmclassic.The chemistry between Gary Cooper, who plays Potts, and BarbaraStanwyck, that appears as Sugarpuss O'Hara, is what makes the comedywork the way it does. Mr. Cooper had a deadpan approach to hisprofessor that worked well in his take of this character. Ms. Stanwyck,a great actress no matter whether in drama, or comedy, was at the topof her profession. It was indeed a pairing that paid off well for Mr.Hawks.The supporting cast was amazing. It would be a hard thing to do thesedays because of the money involved, something that was feasible in thedays of the studio system. S.Z. Sakall, Henry Travers, Leonid Kinskey,Richard Haydn, Tully Marshall and Aubrey Mather, wonderful characterplayers all, enhanced anything in which they appeared, are the sixother professors. Dana Andrews, Dan Duryea, Ralph Peters play the toughguys. Kathleen Howard also shows up as the professor's housekeeper."Ball of Fire" is a film that will live forever.
A mixture of innocence and passion make up what Ball of Fire is about.At times, this is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs with a giant ball offire. Even for 1941, there are moments of sexy conduct that would makea modern day priest blush. Gry Cooper is the book worm as well as thesnow white character. A 30 year old virgin professor, Cooper plays therole like he should, soft and quiet. Barbara Stanwyck, on the otherhand, is as sexy as ever. Stanwyck had the reputation as the bad girlor the girl you do not bring home to mom. The two actors are exactopposite but in some way they fall for one another as the fairy talehas a happy ending. For the time period of World War 2, this is as goodas it gets.